While many of us worry about our health goals falling by the wayside over the holidays, the end of the year doesn’t need to be a time of scale-watching and guilt. Nor does it need to involve diets and deprivation. With these smart food hacks, you can have your festive fruit cake and eat it, too. Here’s how to make the most of the holidays with nutritious snacks, swaps, and tips.
Keep snacks in the car
At this time of year, we’re on the go. Whether it’s rushing from home to the shops for last-minute gifts and groceries, or journeying to friends and family for festive get-togethers, our daily routines have gone out the window. And so have our regular eating times. Rather than stopping at petrol stations or drive-throughs for quick meals, keep a selection of nutritious snacks in your bag or in the car. Go for things like dried fruit and nuts, seeds, coconut shavings, protein chips and protein bars so that when hunger strikes, there’s something wholesome nearby.
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Make fruit easily accessible
Rather than displaying bowls of shortbread or cookies, and keeping jars of candy on the shelf, make it tempting to eat summer fruits instead. Fill decorative bowls or platters with fresh fruit and keep them in your line of sight. As you’re going about your daily activities, grab some grapes or a peach rather than a sugary treat. Make the most of our incredible summer fruit by blending mango, pineapple, and melon with protein powder for a delicious tropical breakfast smoothie.
Try simple food swaps
Just because you’re having a more nutritious holiday doesn’t mean you have to change the festive menu or deprive your family of dessert. There are loads of ways to make special meals a little less rich in kilojoules while keeping the same flavour. It’s about thinking outside the box. Can you use plain yoghurt in your trifle instead of cream? Cook grains or brown rice instead of white? Offer guests hummus and crudites instead of crisps. Stir a scoop or two of protein powder into those pancakes. Nine times out of ten, the answer is ‘yes’. And no one will notice the difference.
Think about the drinks
The end of the year is a sociable time. And why shouldn’t you celebrate the season with a chilled sundowner or glass of bubbly? Just keep an eye on your beverage’s sugar or kilojoule content. Stick to sugar-free mixers, single-shot cocktails, light wine, and watered-down juices. There are also loads of non-alcoholic options on the market. If you’re celebrating, remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water and starting the day with a refreshing herbal tea or adding aloe concentrate to liven up your water and help increase your water intake throughout the day.
There’s no reason you shouldn’t have the best holiday possible – while keeping an eye on your daily nutrient intake. These easy food hacks will make the festive period fun, wholesome, and stress-free. What more could you ask for?